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Macchu Picchu Peru Vacation and Travel Guide - guiaviajesvirtual.com

Macchu Picchu Peru Vacation and Travel Guide

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Machu Picchu southern Quechua, "Old Mountain" is the contemporary name given to a llaqta, ancient Incan Andean-village built in the middle of the fifteenth century in the rocky promontory that links the Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu in the shed East of the Cordillera Central, south of Peru and 2490 m, altitude of the main square. Its original name would have been Picchu or Picho.

According to documents from the mid sixteenth century, Machu Picchu would have been one of the residences rest of Pachacutec, the ninth Inca Tahuantinsuyo between 1438 and 1470. However, some of its finest buildings and ceremonial evident from the main path to the llaqta prove that this was used as a religious sanctuary.

Both uses, the palace and sanctuary, would not have been incompatible. Some experts seem to have ruled, instead, an alleged military, so the popular descriptions of "strength" or "citadel" could have been overcome.


Machu Picchu is considered both a masterpiece of architecture and engineering. Its unique architectural and landscape features, and the veil of mystery that has woven around much of the literature published on the site, have become one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet.

Machu Picchu is on the List of World Heritage of Unesco since 1983 as part of a whole set cultural and ecological known as the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu. On July 7, 2007 Machu Picchu was declared one of the new seven wonders of the modern world in a ceremony in Lisbon (Portugal), which was attended by one hundred million voters worldwide.

It is at 13 ° 9 '47 "south latitude and 72 ° 32' 44" west longitude. It is part of the district of the same name, in the province of Urubamba, department of Cuzco in Peru. The nearest major city is Cuzco, current regional and ancient capital of the Incas, 132 km away capital.

The Machu Picchu and Huayna Picchu are part of a formation known as orographic Vilcabamba Batholith in the Central Cordillera of the Peruvian Andes. They are located on the left bank of the called Urubamba Canyon, formerly known as Quebrada de Picchu. At the foot of the hills; surrounding them runs the river Vilcanota-Urubamba. Inca archaeological site is located halfway between the tops of both mountains, 450 meters high above the valley and at 2438 meters above sea level. The built-up area is approximately 530 meters long by 200 meters wide, with 172 buildings in its urban area. Biogeographically it is located in the Peruvian Yungas ecoregion.

The ruins, themselves, are within an intangible territory of the National System of Protected Natural Areas (SINANPE), called Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu, which extends over an area of 32,592 hectares (80,535 acres or 325 92 square kilometers) of the Vilcanota-Urubamba basin (the Willka mayu or "sacred river" of the Incas) river. The Historical Sanctuary protects a series of biological endangered species and several Inca establishments, including Machu Picchu is considered main.

Forms of access The archaeological site is accessible either from the Inca roads leading to it, or using the road Hiram Bingham (ascending the slope of the hill Machu Picchu from the train station of Puente Ruinas, located at the bottom of the barrel). None of the two forms exempts the visitor admission price to the ruins. That road, however, is not integrated into the national road network in Peru. Born in the village of Aguas Calientes, which in turn can only be accessed by rail (about three hours from Cusco) or helicopter (30 minutes from Cusco).

The absence of a direct road to the sanctuary of Machu Picchu is intentional and allows to control the flow of visitors to the area, which, given its nature of national reserve, is particularly sensitive to the crowds. This, however, has not prevented the disorderly growth (criticized by the cultural authorities) of Aguas Calientes, who lives for and by tourism, as there are hotels and restaurants of different categories in this place.

Formerly to reach Machu Picchu by the main Inca road should do a walk of about three days. This requires taking a train or railcar until km 82 of the railway from Cuzco to Aguas Calientes, from where the walking tour. Some visitors take a local bus from Cuzco to Ollantaytambo (via Urubamba) and then take a shuttle to the mentioned km 82. Once there cross the railroad tracks to cover the 32 km to Aguas Calientes there. Currently, buses reach the Hydroelectric located at 9 km of Aguas Calientes, which are walking about three hours, which is the same path that makes the train.

Weather in Machu Picchu

The weather is warm and humid during the day and cool at night. The temperature ranges between 12 and 24 degrees Celsius. The area in general is very rainy, especially between November and March. The rains, which are copious, rapidly alternating with moments of intense sunshine. The area built in Machu Picchu is 530 meters long by 200 wide and includes at least 172 enclosures. The complex is clearly divided into two main areas: the agricultural area, formed by assemblies of cultivation terraces, located south; and the urban area, which is, of course, one where their occupants lived and where the main civil and religious activities were developed. Both zones are separated by a wall, a moat and a staircase, elements that run parallel by the hill east of the montaña.63 A significant part of the ruins that can be seen today are actually recent reconstructions, as shown at compare the images obtained in the 1910s with today.

Agricultural Area of Machu Picchu

Terraces on the east side in the Agricultural Sector. The platforms (cultivation terraces), of Machu Picchu shine like great echelons constructed on the slope. They are structures formed by a stone wall and a filling of different layers of material (large stones, smaller stones, gravel, clay and farmland) to facilitate drainage, preventing water empoce them (note the great rainfall in the area) and its structure crumbles. This type of construction allowed to cultivate on them until the first decade of the twentieth century. Other platforms of smaller width are at the bottom of Machu Picchu, all around the city. Its function was not agricultural but serve as retaining walls.

Five large buildings are located on the platforms east of the Inca road leading to Machu Picchu from the south. They were used as colcas or warehouses. West of the road are two other large sets of platforms: concentric semi-circular cut and other straight.

Urban Area of Machu Picchu

A wall about 400 meters long divided the city in the agricultural area. Parallel to the wall runs a "pit" used as the main draw of the city. Atop the wall is the door of Machu Picchu which had an internal locking mechanism. The urban area has been divided by the present archeologists in groups of buildings denominated by a number between 1 and 18. still valid the scheme raised by Chávez Ballón in 1961 that divides a Hanan (high) sector and other hurin ( low) according to the traditional bipartition of society and the Andean hierarchy. The physical axis of that division is an elongated square, built on terraces on different levels according to the declivity of the mountain.

The second axis in importance of the city forms cross with the previous, spanning virtually the entire width of the ruins from east to west: It consists of two elements: a wide, long staircase that serves as the "main street" and a set of elaborate fountains of water that runs parallel to it. At the intersection of both axes Inca residence, the temple-observatory tower and the first and most important water sources are located.

Hanan Sector

Hanan Sector includes related care who came to the city through the door (a "vestibular area"), stables for camelid, workshops, kitchens and rooms structures. All this east side of the road, in a succession of parallel streets running down the slope of the mountain. The most important construction, the vestibular building, had two floors and several accesses. On the left hand of the entrance way there are rooms lower range that would be related to work in the quarries, located in the vicinity of this sector. All constructions are of common rigging and many of them were plastered and painted.

Sun Temple

It is accessed by a cover of double jamb, that remained closed (there are remains of a safety mechanism). The main building is known as "Tower" of finely carved blocks. It was used for ceremonies related to the June solstice. One of its windows shows tracks of to have had inlaid ornaments that were taken at some point in the history of Machu Picchu, destroying part of its structure. In addition there are traces of a large fire in place. The tower is built on a large rock below which there is a small cave that has been lined completely fine masonry. It is believed that was a mausoleum and that its mummies lay great niches. Lumbreras even speculates that there is evidence to say that could be the mausoleum of Pachacutec and that his mummy was here until shortly after the Spanish irruption in Cusco.

Real Estate of Buildings for Housing

This is the finest, largest and best distributed of Machu Picchu. Your gateway gives the first source of the city and across the "street" formed by the grand staircase, the Sun Temple. Includes two rooms of large monolithic lintels and well carved stone walls. One of those rooms has access to a utility room with a drainage channel. The set includes a corral for camelids and a private terrace overlooking the east side of the city.

Sacred Plaza

It is so called a set of buildings arranged around a square courtyard. All evidence indicates that the place was destined to different rituals. Includes two of the best buildings of Machu Picchu, which are formed by rocks carved large: The Temple of the Three windows, whose walls of large polygonal blocks were assembled like a puzzle, and the Main Temple, of more regular blocks, It is believed to be the main ceremonial precinct of the city. It attached to the latter is the "parsonage" or "camera of the ornaments". There is evidence suggesting that the overall package not finished being constructed.


It is a hill whose flanks were turned into terraces, taking the form of a polygonal pyramid base. It includes two long stairs of access, north and south, the latter being particularly interesting to be in a long way carved from a single rock. At the top, surrounded by constructions of elite, is the Intihuatana stone ( 'where is tied the Sun'), one of the most studied objects of Machu Picchu, which has been linked to a number of places considered sacred from which establish clear alignments between astronomical events and the surrounding mountains.

Sector Hurin

Sacred Rock

It is so called a flat face stone placed on a large pedestal. It is a milestone that marks the northern end of the city and is the starting point of the path to Huayna Picchu.

Group of the Three Covers

It is a large architectural complex dominated by three large kanchas arranged symmetrically and interconnected. Their covers, of identical invoice, give the main square of Machu Picchu. It includes houses and workshops.

Group of Mortars or Acllahuasi

It is the largest whole city though which had a single entrance door, which could suggest that this was the Acllahuasi (or "house of women selected ') of Machu Picchu, dedicated to religious service and fine craftsmanship . It includes a famous worked good stone room in whose floor are two rocky outcrops carved in the form of circular mortars supposedly to grind grains. Some authors think that they were filled with water and in them the stars were reflected. The assembly includes evidences of a ritual use, there are altars and even a court built around a large rock. Part of their environments show homes have been élite.

Condor Group

It is a comprehensive set of buildings, not always regular outline, which leverages the contours of the rocks. It includes some caves with evidences of ritual use and a great carved in the center of a large courtyard in which many believe see the representation of a condor stone. South of the "Condor" are elite houses, which had the only private access to one of the sources of Machu Picchu. Between the houses and the courtyard of the Condor it has identified clear remnants of buildings dedicated to raise guinea pigs (Cavia porcellus).

Spanish Steps Sources

It is a set composed of a grand staircase along which runs a system of 16 artificial waterfalls, most of which is carefully carved in polygonal and surrounded by gutters carved in the rock blocks. The water comes from a spring in the heights of Cerro Machu Picchu that was channeled under the Empire. An additional system at the top of the mountain picks up filtrations of the rain of the mountains and drifting the main channel.

Areas Quarries

At the top, immediately after entering the main street, there are six rooms, connected by a staircase. It is surely rustic buildings that served as home to the guardians of the front door, as well as stonemasons, woodcarvers and stone carvers because the quarry is very close to this grouping.

In archaeological excavations we have found pots, plates, aríbalos water, wells, a mill stone and scorched earth; by these shows that are cooked for large numbers of people and preparing chicha (Julinho excavations Zapara). Also in relation to this area many tools and stones were found very hard. This area shows diversity of carved quarry or semi carved rocks, with cuts for construction, among which channels, incoming and outgoing, half-cut rocks and ramps to mobilize them. The enclosures in this area are directly related to the construction material suppliers for different areas or clusters of the city of Machu Picchu.

Originally the whole area where the city of Machu Picchu settled was a great quarry that geologists call "granite chaos". The rocks, which were transformed in lithic polyhedra and transported to work are of different qualities. There received the finish and the final cut. Polishing would be done after being placed on the facing, for example in the temple of the animals.

As curious detail, it should be noted that there is a stone with cracks or splits made to extract new stones for some of the restorations. Some misinformed guides usually show, claiming that damp logs were placed in the slots, expanding, they produced the fracture. Such an explanation is possible only in the imagination.

Machu Picchu New Wonder of the World

The day July 7, 2007, Machu Picchu was chosen as one of the new seven wonders of the modern world, a private initiative of New Open World Corporation (NOWC), created by Swiss Bernard Weber, needing the endorsement of any institution or government to continue its electoral purposes and allow select the wonders classified by the vote of more than one hundred million electores.89 90 This vote was supported by the government of Alan Garcia Perez, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism industry ; this diffusion had its fruits in a great participation of Peruvian people as a whole and also in the international arena. Upon learning the results, President Alan Garcia declared by supreme decree, on July 7 as "Day of the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu" to remember the importance of the sanctuary for the world to recognize the participation of Peruvian people in the voting and promote The tourism.

The new seven wonders of the modern world were chosen by popular vote under aesthetic criteria, economic, tourist and recreational rather than their historical significance or artistic merit, so you do not have the support of institutions such as UNESCO. However, the distinction has great echo, resulting in a significant additional claim for attracting tourism. In fact, Machu Picchu is today the main tourist destination in Peru with 600 000 visitors / year (according MINCETUR) and one of the most desired by travelers worldwide.

Map of Machu Picchu


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